You can't build a viable business online or offline without alliances. Building social alliances strengthens your visibility, engagement and sense of purpose. Building social alliances is an absolute must if you're thinking long range.
Building social alliances is all about connectivity and it's very personal! You can't create a business that supports other people whether you're teaching them how to knit or learn tech, without trusting alliances.
Three categories to consider for alliances are; Clients, Peers and Influencers.
Happy Clients: People who've received enough value from us they are willing to share us with friends. They trust in us based on results they've received from working with us or using our products and that trust is currency. If you've ever had bad food, service or both in a restaurant, that's what you'll share. You won't recommend it to friends. The same is true with any business, program or service. That's why it's important you focus on your customer or clients experience with every interaction you have. Overtime, the potential to win or loose word-of-mouth business is significant.
Peers: It's inevitable you'll meet other business owners who share common ground, align with your values and maybe even support with a similar focus, message or ideals. There's room for all of us to thrive and find our unique audience. We needn't worry about 'competition'. Build social alliances with peers can be very powerful for your business provided you're both getting something from the alliance and it's not one sided. There's people who give and people who make everything about themselves. Trust your instincts and cut people lose who waste your time and don't reciprocate. At the end of the day, we're talking about "business" so don't promote people who don't value your time and reciprocate in some way at some point. Remember to ask for what you want if it's something specific and invite collaboration if desired.
Influencers: This includes famous people, mentors and highly successful entrepreneurs. People who influence your thinking and actions on a deeper more personal level. Gary Vaynerchuck and Danielle LaPorte are two influencers I value for very different reasons. Instead of approaching 'top shelf' consider someone in the middle, someone who is truly making a difference who you might actually have a shot with. Top influencers say NO, more than Yes!! There's thousands of influencers online who welcome collaboration, provided they believe in what you have to give and there's something in it for them! Invest your time in sharing commenting and promoting their content FIRST. It can take awhile. If the answer is No, be gracious and try again down the road. Don't be afraid to approach influencers and invite collaboration AFTER you've done your due diligence.
Whether your building alliances through happy clients, peers or influencers you must keep in mind, it's NOT all about you. You'll need to practice reciprocity if you want maintain the loyalty of clients and peers. With influencers remember, others are trying to push open doors who may have more equity than you, so be crystal clear about your intention and assets, before contact is made.
Finally, remember "relationship building" doesn't happen overnight. TRUST is a word not to be taken lightly. Time is 'currency' for everyone! Come from a place of giving if you want to build loyal lasting alliances to empower others and elevate your business! AND if you want to get on the phone with me and talk about your social strategy, Signup here .